I had an afternoon this last week (in the city) where I had a few hours to kill, while Eric was at a meeting. It was an afternoon of peoplewatching, really – wandering around a large shopping mall, sitting in a street cafe and then reading in the local library.
I began to notice all the ‘middle aged’ ladies. In inverted commas, because I was guessing that they’re middle aged – I WAS actively seeking out ladies that were probably about my age! I observed and then wondered how I appeared to other women. There were so many BIG ladies and it occurred to me that if these are my peers, where did we go wrong?
Lower socio-economic (and therefore reduced) circumstances leading to bad quality/poor food choices (no money and little education) and combined with the ready availability of cheap and fast food!? Or comfortably well off and therefore self-indulgent, able to afford to eat when and what we want. And/or in comfortable relationships and no longer needing to try hard? Perhaps, unluckily trapped in a ‘sugar world’ before we realised what sugar does to us!
Of course, there are plenty of middle aged and older ladies (50, 60, 70 …) who haven’t gained weight. And they’ve got it all ticking along nicely – weight, clothes, hair, skin – they could be 70 or 50. And of course, there are large ladies who got that way due to health reasons or genetics – but they won’t be the majority. So we aren’t talking about them!
There ARE MANY unsatisfied people in our Western society. Too many choices and options lead to a lot of decision-making, which causes anxiety and stress and uncertainty. Also there’s a lot of fear (of what, you might say, here in Australia) but I say fear of failure, of what people think, what they might say – what they see when they look at us! Dismay at what we see in the mirror, disappointment at not reaching imagined heights, or failure to be what we might have been and sadness at facing up to a lack of life-time in which to make that mark! Time has been wasted, roads not taken, decisions incorrectly made. In hindsight, is there much you would have done differently?
Children, job choices, love, education, travel – extremes or boundaries – and at the root of all, your personality type and your childhood experiences! How did they mould you and your reactions to the world and the events you’ve experienced and decisions you’ve made – that lead to the hole that you need to fill – with sugar, alcohol, drugs, recklessness or excess just to cope with what you feel is a savage world?!You know you’re doing something wrong; you’re trying to own your own behaviours; you realise that these are ‘coping’ behaviours, that are not REALLY HELPING YOU!! But it is so hard to change!!
What if you let go and nothing changes? If you bring attention to yourself people may notice the change and have opinions about that. You’re now under pressure with the weight of (perceived) expectations. You’ve struggled to make changes, but are you really now you?! For so long you’ve had high expectations of yourself, but low outcomes. Through effort and strength of mind and soul you’ve begun to live … to overcome the self-imposed hurdles … to let yourself be proud of you!! Can I do it? Can I be free and happy? Am I as good as everyone else?
Walking around this shopping area were A LOT of overweight and unhappy looking women, of approximately my age. How many of them are caught in this struggle? Do they put on a brave face before family and friends? Is their ‘true’ self scared, disappointed and unhappy? I’m sure some of them are oblivious; aren’t they? How many are self-aware enough to think about how they got to where they are and how and whether they could change things?!
If you have the urge to beat yourself into submission – remember that change is difficult BUT not impossible! ‘Mentally healthy’ people can find it difficult to understand what these women are going through or how they got there. It was interesting to imagine putting these women into a line and seeing how they fit into the box I’d put them. The more we think we are individuals – and we all strongly hold on to that right – the more we learn how similar we are. Running the same race to death, fearing being forgotten and waiting for someone to fix it for us!
Reach out now. Forgive yourself! 🙂
Forgive others. Let yourself love and be loved. Be kind and charitable – and start at home! Start with yourself! 😀
We don’t have to be perfect; or the same as someone else; or the best. Try and be true to who you think you are IN YOUR SOUL – and the VERY BEST YOU will find the way!